The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

J.P. and the Giant Octopus, and J.P. and the Polka -Dotted Aliens Review by Barbette Yingst

J.P. and the Polka -Dotted Aliens
Ana Crespo
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway-Ste 320
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

J.P. and the Giant Octopus and J.P. and the Polka-Dotted Aliens are the two 8 x 10 size hardback books I received to review from Albert Whitman & Company that are part of the “My Emotions and Me” collection. Each book contains 32 beautifully animated pages and can be purchased for $16.99. These books are written for 4-8 year olds.

J.P. and the Giant Octopus is about feeling afraid. It is written by Ana Crespo about a little boy named J.P. who is confronts his fears about the carwash. When J.P.’s dad takes him into the carwash J.P. thinks it looks like a giant octopus! He starts to imagine the octopus being nice and in the process realizes that he can be brave.

This book is fun and well written. Children are sometimes fearful of many things that we as adults deem part of everyday life. This book helps young readers cope with their fears and teaches them to look at things in different ways, just like their new friend J.P. My 2 year old niece loved listening to this book. She too shares this fear with J.P. However; after we read this book, it didn’t seem to make that fear better . . . instead it antagonized her fear of car washes.

J.P. and the Polka-Dotted Aliens is about another emotion that children of a young age can tend to struggle to understand . . . ANGER. This book is also written by Ana Crespo about our new friend J.P. In this book he is at the playground playing when a set of twins come on the scene and want to take over his “playhouse” and turn it into a “spaceship.” It doesn’t take long before he gets mad. Then he realizes that he needs to be a “fun monkey,” and he plays with them instead.

Any of us with kids understand the difficulties that we face teaching our kids how to resolve conflict, especially at a young age. This book takes a serious situation and adds a playful twist while teaching your kiddo proper ways to deal with anger.

I think these are well rounded and books that can be utilized in homeschool situations or in any school for that matter. I have two nieces and one nephew that are all two years old that enjoyed listening to these stories. Although the stories were cute, I feel like the stories lacked something. In each of these stories J.P. came to his own conclusion that he needed to act in a different manner, yet he is obviously too young to do so. I would have liked to see encouragement or instruction from an adult to J.P. to also show young readers the need to listen to authority figures. With that being said, I don’t believe I would have purchased these if I came across them in a store.

—Product Review by Barbette Yingst, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2016